I confess to being a trifle nervous this morning as I await the kick-off for what, in my opinion, is the critical game of the season thus far. Not that it is a "must win". We have all heard this too often used cliche bandied about in reference to this game but it clearly does not fall into that category. As Russell Berrisford pointed out in his Sun sports piece this morning today's result will impact the remainder of the season and speak volumes about the current crop of Whitecaps and their character. Nothing less than a good performance is acceptable. Keeping in mind that the team is facing a very good, well motivated opponent in their own park a win would be an excellent result and a draw would be disappointingly acceptable. A loss would be disastrous but an uninspired performance, devoid of imagination and lacking in penetration, energy and aggression, such as the past two outings, would be nearly terminal. As Mr. Berrisford points out, this game is the one that "defines the character of the run in for both players and supporters alike." A poor effort would kill off any sense of momentum that the Whitecaps have been trying to generate over the international break and make it virtually impossible for the players to approach the home stretch with any enthusiasm whatsoever. It might also be the death knell for the growth and development of the fledgling Whitecaps fan base (acknowledgement and kudos here to those fans who have supported the team since it's inception in the '70's and throughout the 86'ers days. You are the cornerstone of one of the potentially most colourful, enthusiastic and supportive fan bases in the league.) I try to emulate the positive attitude that Martin Rennie has no doubt tried to instill in his squad but after the past month it comes a bit hard. So here I sit in Victoria waiting for kick off and very, very nervous. I live in hope and my hope is that the Whitecaps will emerge from their recent slumbers and remind us why we all love "the beautiful game."